Dynamo-CF Montreal Preview

National Sports

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy implored his side to be more clinical heading into the final two games, the first of which against Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Montreal suffered last-minute heartbreak in a 1-0 loss against New York Red Bulls last time out, leaving them three points back from the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference.

However, Nancy played down the importance of the hosts’ result as he pointed towards other results aiding his side while calling for improvements in his side’s attacking ahead of their next clash.

“I think the players deserved a little help and it turns out that it worked (referencing Orlando City’s late draw against Nashville SC),” said the CF Montreal head coach.

“They have one more hope for the last two games. The players are pumped and they are ready.

“We need to be more precise in the last third, Yes, everyone wants to take shots, but we need to attack the penalty area.”

The Dynamo have lost three in a row and with only one win in their last seven games, the end of the season could not come quick enough for them.

But a new dawn is upon them after appointing club legend Pat Onstad as General Manager next term and the former goalkeeper is prioritizing securing “top-end talent.”

“Number one is to get better on the field,” Onstad said. “We have some core guys who are very good, but we’re missing some top-end talent and difference-makers.

“Those pieces who can turn games. In our league, it’s pretty close. It’s those players who make differences.

“I have players and a style I want to see, but we have to make sure we go after the correct players.

“Ones that fit within a system. But I’ll spend the next weeks and months trying to evaluate everybody and get better.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CF Montreal – Sebastian Breza

Sebastian Breza has started the last two matches in goal ahead of regular James Pantemis, stopping four of the five shots fired his way versus the Red Bulls. Montreal will need their goalkeeper on form once more on Wednesday.

Houston Dynamo – Fafa Picault

Houston have only scored from one of their 19 shots across their last three-game winless run and Fafa Picault’s poor form has been central. The forward may lead the club charts with 11 goals, but he has failed to find the net since September 18.

KEY OPTA FACTS

●Including one playoff meeting, the home side has won 14 of the 15 all-time meetings between CF Montreal and Houston Dynamo (D1). The only time the away side claimed a point was a 1-1 draw in Houston in October 2012. The home side has won the 12 meetings since.

●CF Montreal conceded in the 91st minute in its 1-0 loss to the Red Bulls on Saturday, the fourth time its allowed a goal in second half stoppage time this season, including the second in a row. All four goals cost Montreal points, turning two wins into draws and two draws into losses.

●The Dynamo are winless in 24 straight away matches (D9 L15) dating back to a 5-2 win over Sporting Kansas City in August 2020, the fourth longest regular season road winless streak in MLS history. The third longest was a 25-match run by Montreal from 2013 to 2015 (D7 L18).

●Rommel Quioto has scored 17 goals in two seasons (including playoffs) with CF Montreal after scoring 15 goals in his first three MLS seasons as a member of the Dynamo. He hasn’t faced the Dynamo since moving to Montreal in 2020.

●Excluding own goals, the Dynamo have scored 13 times on the road this season. Fafà Picault has been involved in more than half of those (8 – 5 goals, 3 assists) including each of the last five non-own goals Houston has scored away from home (4 goals, 1 assist).

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